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Shalini Singh  |99 Answers  |Ask -

Dating Coach - Answered on Jun 23, 2023

Shalini Singh is the founder of andwemet, an online matchmaking service for urban Indians living in India and overseas. After graduating from college as a kindergarten teacher, Singh worked at various firms specialising in marketing strategy, digital marketing and public relations before finding her niche as an entrepreneur. In 2008, she founded Galvanise PR, an independent communications and public relations. In 2019, she launched andwemet.
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Asked by Anonymous - Jun 16, 2023Hindi

Hi Madam, I am 36 yrs old girl, working in central govt, I lost my parents long back, all my siblings are elder & busy in their family, brothers doesnt even talk to me, so there is no one who is seriously finding boy for my marriage, I tried through matrimonial apps, it didnt work. Based on my colleague advise, I tried through dating apps but nobody is genuine there, most of them are looking for hook up. Finally I found one guy who is 3 years elder than me but come to know within 3months that he too married but we are in touch through calls & msgs from past 6 years, since I stay alone at quarters, he met me more than 30 times at my place, even spent nights with me but never forced me for anything that I dont like. I love him a lot but he is married so I dont want have physical relationship with him but I too have biological urges but I am scared of getting pregnant or even loosing virginity which might affect my marriage, at the same time I dont have any hopes left on my marriage. This guy has lots of patience , we meet, drink together , do all things except intercourse , could you pls advise me whether I should have sex with him? also I stopped using dating apps as I love this guy.

Ans: I read your question a few times...I will respond it in 3 parts
Part 1:
Current relationship with someone who is not available - You are 36 and are smart to take life decisions. You can do as you wish but incase you get intimate - keep it to that only. Do not let your emotions come to play and get used to him - treat this relationship as a casual relationship which it is already. As for getting pregnant - take precautions, but more than pregnancy you should be worried about STD's hope this man is clean. As for you stopping your search because of this man - Remember - He is NOT AVAILABLE - so rethink why are you being available for someone who is not available to you. You and only you are responsible for your current situation. You have the mind to decide if you wish to continue to know or him or stop this relationship.

Part 2:
Finding someone compatible/ likeminded can become easy if you are (a) not in a hurry (b) know your dealbreakers and negotiables (c) feel confident and good about yourself...if you have these things in place then you would need patience and with that you will find your person - online or offline.

Part 3:
Its unfortunate you lost your parents - a virtual hug coming your way. While parents and sibling do help in introducing their people to others its wrong to Expect them to help - its your relationship and its ok to find your person, in fact its awesome to do so.

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Anu Krishna  |1033 Answers  |Ask -

Relationships Expert, Mind Coach - Answered on Jun 08, 2022

 Hi Anu, I am a married 32 year old woman, a central govt employee with a 4 year old son. Last year my husband left for some work for 8 to 9 months. He became very busy. He doesn’t give me time at all, very dry, never shows love, goes out with me only after a lot of insistence. He’s always busy with phone and work. But we were happy. I adjusted with everything. But after we left, I started feeling very lonely. I signed up for an extra marital app and started chatting with a man from the same city. After chatting for 6 months, we decided to meet. He is married, and has a 12 year old daughter. I feel happy in his company. He is caring and pampers me. Even after my husband was back we met. We meet once a week after our office hours. We get physically intimate once in two to three months. We do not disturb each other during family time. We talk to each every day for 10 to 15 minutes. Many a times I felt like I was cheating my husband and decided to move on. But I am not able to get over his love and care. I will be transferred to another city in 2 to 3 months. So we decided to have a baby and be in touch always.Pls guide me if am right or wrong.Need your advice. I can't share it with anyone.

Dear MS,

You did know the perils of an extra marital app and knew what you were getting into.

You have two ways of looking at your situation.

1. If you choose to continue, you are constantly going to have to juggle between your marriage and this relationship

2. If you choose to be exclusive into your marriage, then you are going to possibly be with a man who is who he is

Now, which side of the fence feels more comfortable to you, is something that you need to assess. Also, external validation is something all of us fall prey to sometime or the other in our lifetime.

Ask yourself:

  • What is lacking in my marriage that is forcing me to step out and explore?
  • Have I tried to communicate my needs to my husband?
  • Are there things that I could have done differently to have a better relationship with my husband?

This might give you a chance to understand where you are and what you can do to give your marriage a fair chance if that is what you wish to do.

Whatever you choose, do remember basing your happiness on an external source will always be short lived and all it gives you is heartache.

Be wise, choose wisely and maybe it’s time to laugh a lot, take a step back, breathe and look at what IS in a different way.

If you still waver, do know that whatever is going on also has an impact on your son. So, steady yourself first, do a reality check and then choose.

Be well and happy!

..Read more


Anu Krishna  |1033 Answers  |Ask -

Relationships Expert, Mind Coach - Answered on Jan 20, 2024

Love Guru

Love Guru   |187 Answers  |Ask -

Relationships Expert - Answered on Apr 16, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Apr 09, 2024Hindi
Hello madam, i m 32 year married women, my husband love me more than anything, he is good in everything, he take care of me, he bring me whatever i want, he is very good in bed also. We dont have kids because i never loved my husband. Before marriage i had boyfriend, he never accepted me and assured me that he will marry me, so i decided to marry my husband in 2019. Till oct 2022, i used to communicate with my ex boyfriend, but when he got married he stopped calling me and i also stoped thinking about him. Lately, in Sept 2023, i meet guy in my office he is 23, music teacher, not so good looking, not completed graduation, not financial strong but i developed feeling for him. I lied to him, told i am not married, to get close to him. Once my husband caught me cheating with him in whatsapp messages, told me to not do. But still i went ahead to continue my relationship with this young guy and want to live with this guy. I want to divorce and live with young guy. My parents and family love and respect my husband like their own son. I am doing correct or not please suggest me.
Ans: No you certainly are not “doing correct”! Here’s a good man who loves you and treats you well and has forgiven your indiscretions and still you want someone else? You agreed to marry, right - no one put a gun to your head. Now honour that commitment and stop being so fickle-minded. At 23, your boyfriend is really young and immature. Right now you’re all hot and heavy, but give it a minute; realistically your relationship is unlikely to survive in the long run. And you want to hurt your husband and walk out on your marriage for nothing…he’s only ever treated you right. Don’t be a fool!

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Ravi Mittal  |247 Answers  |Ask -

Dating, Relationships Expert - Answered on May 16, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - May 16, 2024Hindi
Dear LG, Please keep this anonymous. I have been married since 6 years. However, since past 5+ years we have not been intimate. We haave a 5&1/2 year kid. Since his birth we have had a lot of differences and his family interference was lot leaving me alone and wounded. I don't stay with my husband and in-laws since then. I had made up that work is worship. But 2 years back I met a colleague. He is 10 years younger to me and we have extremely similar vibes. We enjoy each other's company and cared a lot. Eventually i fell in love with him. But he always knew he wont be able to go against his family. We also had relationship. Now he has strated looking for girls and wants us to stop being intimate. He is saying he wants to be friends and not loose me but not have relationship. We both work together in same space and our area of work is also same. I am unable to forgive my husband and forget this person. He never goes away. He is always there telling that I want to see you happy. He needs me for professional development. And i am not able to loose our relationship. He says physical intimacy only I cant have remaining Im there. Then again says I don’t know when I will be there so I am unable to give assurance or promise. I am tormented with a child, work and my health is getting affected. Can you please help?
Ans: Dear Anonymous,

I am sorry that you are in such a tough spot. My advice would be to move on. Yes, I realize that it is easier said than done but let's put things into perspective- first, you have no future with this man, and he has made it clear. Are you okay to keep hanging on to him while he builds his own life? I am assuming no, especially since you have a child. Second, what about your self-respect? He is directly telling you that this relationship is headed toward a dead end. Do you believe you deserve to be with someone who does not want to settle down with you? I believe you deserve better.

I am not blaming him because he made no promises. You are not to be held guilty either because you were in a tough spot and you grabbed the first emotional support you found. But the current reality is that he wants out. And convincing him to stay is not an option. At this point, moving on with your head held high is the best decision. If you want to accept his friendship, that is completely fine. But if that's too much for you, you can always decline it. I understand that working in the same space with an ex is difficult, but as long as you avoid interacting outside of the office and keep things professional, there should not be an issue. On the emotional front, I won't lie, it will hurt for a while. But this too shall pass. I strongly recommend you not to value yourself so low that you stop believing that you deserve a person who loves you back as much as you love him.

Best Wishes.

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Latest Questions

Ramalingam Kalirajan  |4703 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jul 15, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Jun 26, 2024Hindi
Hello lam 32old l have 4kids earn 1L per month how to make investment kids education
Ans: Planning for your children's education is a commendable goal, and it's great to see you taking steps towards it. With a monthly income of Rs 1 lakh and four kids to provide for, a well-thought-out investment strategy is essential. Let's dive into the details.

Understanding Your Financial Situation
Before investing, understand your financial situation. Earning Rs 1 lakh per month gives you a solid base. However, with four kids, your expenses will be significant. Hence, planning and budgeting are crucial.

Setting Clear Goals
First, set clear goals. Determine the cost of education for each child. Factor in inflation, which increases the cost of education over time. Setting specific goals helps you stay focused.

Creating a Budget
Create a monthly budget to manage your expenses. Track your income and expenditures. This will help identify areas where you can save more money. Savings are the foundation of your investment.

Building an Emergency Fund
An emergency fund is vital. It ensures financial stability during unforeseen circumstances. Aim to save at least six months' worth of expenses in a liquid savings account.

Prioritising Insurance
Adequate insurance is essential. Ensure you have sufficient health insurance coverage for your family. Life insurance is also critical to protect your family financially in your absence.

Diversifying Investments
Diversify your investments to reduce risk. Different investment options provide varying returns and have different risk levels. Diversification balances risk and return.

Investing in Mutual Funds
Mutual funds are an excellent option for long-term goals like education. They are managed by professional fund managers and offer the benefit of diversification.

Benefits of Mutual Funds for Education Goals
Professional Management: Mutual funds are managed by experienced fund managers. They make investment decisions based on thorough research and analysis. This professional management helps in optimizing returns while managing risks.

Diversification: Mutual funds invest in a variety of securities. This diversification spreads risk across different assets, reducing the impact of any single investment's poor performance.

Flexibility: There are various types of mutual funds catering to different risk appetites and investment horizons. For education planning, you can choose from equity funds, debt funds, or balanced funds, depending on your risk tolerance and time frame.

Systematic Investment Plan (SIP): SIPs allow you to invest a fixed amount regularly in mutual funds. This disciplined approach helps in averaging the cost of investment and building a substantial corpus over time. SIPs are ideal for long-term goals like children's education.

Tax Efficiency: Some mutual funds, like Equity Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS), offer tax benefits under Section 80C of the Income Tax Act. This reduces your tax liability while helping you save for your children's education.

Advantages of Actively Managed Funds
Actively managed funds are superior to index funds. Fund managers use their expertise to outperform the market. They provide better returns compared to index funds, which merely track market indices.

Regular Funds vs Direct Funds
Investing through a Mutual Fund Distributor (MFD) with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) credential is beneficial. Regular funds come with expert advice and guidance. Direct funds, on the other hand, require you to make investment decisions yourself. Professional guidance reduces the chances of making poor investment decisions.

Systematic Investment Plan (SIP)
SIPs are a disciplined way to invest in mutual funds. They allow you to invest a fixed amount regularly. This helps in averaging the cost of investment and building a corpus over time.

Public Provident Fund (PPF)
PPF is a government-backed savings scheme. It offers tax benefits and attractive interest rates. It is a safe investment option for long-term goals like children's education.

National Savings Certificate (NSC)
NSC is another government-backed scheme. It provides guaranteed returns and tax benefits. It's a low-risk investment option suitable for conservative investors.

Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana (SSY)
If you have daughters, consider SSY. It is specifically designed for the girl child's education and marriage expenses. It offers high returns and tax benefits.

Child Education Plans
Child education plans offered by insurance companies combine insurance and investment. They provide financial protection and help in building a corpus for education. However, these plans may come with high charges. Hence, evaluate them carefully.

Avoiding ULIPs
Unit Linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs) combine insurance and investment. However, they have high charges and complex structures. Separate your insurance and investment needs for better returns.

Reviewing Investments Regularly
Regularly review your investments. Ensure they align with your goals. Market conditions change, and so should your investment strategy. Adjust your investments as needed.

Starting Early
The earlier you start investing, the better. Time allows your investments to grow. Compounding works best when you invest for the long term.

Educating Yourself
Financial literacy is crucial. Understand the basics of investing. Read books, attend seminars, and consult with your CFP. Knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions.

Involving Your Children
Involve your children in financial planning. Teach them the importance of saving and investing. This helps them understand the value of money and prepares them for future financial responsibilities.

Evaluating Your Risk Tolerance
Assess your risk tolerance. Different investments have different risk levels. Choose investments that match your risk appetite. This ensures you are comfortable with your investment choices.

Setting Up a Separate Account
Set up a separate account for your children's education fund. This keeps the funds earmarked for their education and reduces the temptation to use them for other expenses.

Automating Investments
Automate your investments. Set up auto-debit instructions for SIPs and other investments. This ensures regular investments without fail.

Tax Planning
Plan your taxes efficiently. Utilize tax-saving instruments like PPF, NSC, and ELSS. This reduces your tax liability and increases your investable surplus.

Seeking Professional Advice
Seek advice from a CFP. They provide tailored advice based on your financial situation and goals. Their expertise helps you make the right investment choices.

Avoiding Emotional Decisions
Avoid making emotional decisions. Market volatility can tempt you to make hasty decisions. Stay focused on your long-term goals and avoid reacting to short-term market movements.

Monitoring Inflation
Monitor inflation. The cost of education rises with inflation. Ensure your investments are growing at a rate higher than inflation to meet your goals.

Utilizing Education Loans
Consider education loans as a backup. They can fund higher education without straining your finances. However, aim to save and invest enough to avoid relying solely on loans.

Staying Disciplined
Discipline is key to successful investing. Stick to your investment plan. Avoid unnecessary expenses and stay committed to your savings goals.

Balancing Current and Future Needs
Balance your current and future needs. While saving for education is important, ensure you meet your current financial responsibilities. A balanced approach prevents financial stress.

Encouraging Scholarships
Encourage your children to excel academically. Scholarships reduce the financial burden of education. Motivate them to participate in scholarship programs and competitions.

Exploring Part-time Work
Part-time work teaches responsibility and the value of money. Encourage your older children to take up part-time jobs or internships. This not only adds to their education fund but also provides work experience.

Minimizing Debt
Minimize debt to maximize savings. Avoid unnecessary loans and credit card debts. Interest payments on debt reduce your investable surplus.

Living Within Means
Live within your means. Maintain a lifestyle that suits your income. This ensures you have enough savings for your children's education.

Avoiding High-Risk Investments
Avoid high-risk investments. While they offer high returns, they also come with high risks. Stick to safer investment options for education goals.

Reinvesting Returns
Reinvest returns from your investments. This helps in compounding and growing your corpus faster. Avoid withdrawing investment returns for short-term needs.

Leveraging Employer Benefits
Leverage employer benefits like provident fund and employee stock options. These can add to your savings for your children's education.

Keeping Updated with Policies
Stay updated with government policies. Policies related to education and savings schemes change. Staying informed helps you take advantage of beneficial schemes.

Understanding the Cost of Education
Research the cost of education. Understand the fees and expenses involved in different courses. This helps in setting realistic goals and planning accordingly.

Encouraging Savings Habit
Encourage a savings habit in your family. Make saving a family activity. This creates a culture of saving and financial responsibility.

Utilizing Mobile Apps
Use mobile apps for budgeting and investing. They help track your expenses and investments easily. Many apps offer insights and advice on managing finances.

Final Insights
Investing in your children's education is a noble goal. It requires careful planning and disciplined execution. With a monthly income of Rs 1 lakh, you have the potential to build a substantial education fund. Set clear goals, diversify your investments, and seek professional advice. Start early and stay disciplined. Your efforts today will secure a bright future for your children.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,


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Ramalingam Kalirajan  |4703 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jul 15, 2024

Ans: Mr. Vijayakumar, thank you for sharing your financial situation. It's clear you're facing significant challenges. Your pension is Rs. 18,000, and you have a jewel loan of Rs. 8 lakhs with an interest of Rs. 10,000 per month. You also have stock investments worth Rs. 3 lakhs, which provide some profit to cover the interest.

Firstly, let's appreciate your efforts in managing your finances despite these difficulties. Your perseverance is commendable. Now, let's explore some strategies to help you overcome your debt and improve your financial health.

Assessing Your Monthly Cash Flow
Your monthly pension of Rs. 18,000 is your primary source of income. However, paying Rs. 10,000 towards the interest on your jewel loan leaves you with only Rs. 8,000 for other expenses. This tight budget makes it challenging to manage your finances effectively.

To address this, we need to look at ways to either increase your income or reduce your expenses. Let’s explore some potential strategies.

Reducing Monthly Expenses
One immediate step is to review your monthly expenses. Identify areas where you can cut down costs. This could include reducing discretionary spending, such as dining out or entertainment. Even small savings can add up over time and provide some financial relief.

Additionally, consider negotiating with service providers for lower rates on utilities or phone bills. Every bit of savings will help improve your cash flow.

Liquidating Non-Essential Assets
Given your current debt situation, it's important to consider liquidating non-essential assets. You mentioned having stock investments worth Rs. 3 lakhs. While trading stocks can generate some profit, relying on this income to pay interest on a large loan isn't sustainable.

Selling a portion or all of these stocks can provide you with a lump sum amount. This money can be used to pay off a part of your jewel loan, reducing the principal and, consequently, the monthly interest payments.

Exploring Additional Income Sources
Increasing your income can significantly improve your financial situation. Here are a few ideas to consider:

Part-Time Work: Explore opportunities for part-time work that align with your skills and experience. Even a few hours a week can supplement your pension.

Freelancing: If you have expertise in a particular field, consider freelancing. Platforms like Upwork or Freelancer offer opportunities for various skill sets.

Tutoring: If you have knowledge in a subject area, tutoring can be a rewarding way to earn extra income. Online tutoring platforms make it easier to connect with students.

These additional income sources can provide some financial cushion and help you manage your loan payments more effectively.

Evaluating Your Loan Options
High-interest loans can quickly become a financial burden. It might be worthwhile to explore options for refinancing your jewel loan. Here are a few steps to consider:

Negotiating with Your Lender: Speak with your current lender to see if there's any possibility of reducing the interest rate on your jewel loan. Explain your situation and request a more favorable rate.

Loan Consolidation: If you have multiple loans, consolidating them into a single loan with a lower interest rate can simplify your payments and reduce the overall interest burden.

Switching Lenders: Compare rates from different lenders. If you find a lender offering a lower interest rate, consider transferring your loan to them. This can result in significant interest savings.

Seeking Professional Advice
Given the complexity of your financial situation, it may be beneficial to seek advice from a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). A CFP can provide personalized guidance and help you create a comprehensive financial plan. They can assist with budgeting, debt management, and investment strategies tailored to your needs.

Benefits of Working with a CFP
Working with a Certified Financial Planner offers several advantages:

Expertise: CFPs have extensive knowledge and training in financial planning. They can provide expert advice based on your specific circumstances.

Personalized Guidance: A CFP will take the time to understand your financial goals and challenges. They can create a tailored plan to help you achieve financial stability.

Long-Term Planning: A CFP can help you develop a long-term financial strategy, including retirement planning, investment management, and debt reduction.

Assessing Investment Options
While stocks can provide returns, relying solely on stock trading for income is risky. It's important to diversify your investments to reduce risk and ensure a more stable income. Let's discuss the advantages of actively managed funds over index funds.

Disadvantages of Index Funds
Index funds have their drawbacks. They are passively managed and simply aim to replicate the performance of a specific index. This lack of active management means they cannot adapt to market changes. During market downturns, index funds often suffer significant losses, as they are tied to the overall market performance.

Benefits of Actively Managed Funds
Actively managed funds, on the other hand, are overseen by professional fund managers who make strategic decisions based on market conditions. These managers aim to outperform the market and protect your investments during volatile times.

Flexibility: Active fund managers can adjust the portfolio based on market trends and economic conditions.

Risk Management: Active managers can take defensive positions during market downturns to minimize losses.

Potential for Higher Returns: With strategic management, actively managed funds have the potential to deliver higher returns compared to index funds.

Reinvesting in Mutual Funds
If you hold LIC, ULIP, or investment cum insurance policies, consider surrendering these and reinvesting in mutual funds. These policies often have high fees and lower returns compared to mutual funds.

Disadvantages of Direct Funds
Direct funds may seem attractive due to lower expense ratios, but they lack professional guidance. Investing directly requires significant time and expertise. Making the wrong investment choices can lead to substantial losses.

Benefits of Regular Funds with CFP Guidance
Regular funds, invested through a Mutual Fund Distributor (MFD) with a CFP credential, offer several benefits:

Professional Advice: You get access to expert advice and investment recommendations.

Convenience: Regular funds simplify the investment process, saving you time and effort.

Risk Management: A CFP can help manage risk and ensure your investments align with your financial goals.

Creating a Debt Repayment Plan
To overcome your debt, it's crucial to have a structured repayment plan. Here are some steps to consider:

Prioritize High-Interest Debt
Focus on paying off the debt with the highest interest rate first. This will help reduce the overall interest burden.

Make Extra Payments
Whenever possible, make extra payments towards your loan principal. This will reduce the principal amount faster and lower the total interest paid over time.

Automate Payments
Set up automatic payments to ensure you never miss a due date. This will help avoid late fees and keep you on track with your repayment plan.

Exploring Government Schemes and Assistance
In India, several government schemes and assistance programs can help senior citizens manage their finances. Research and explore these options to see if you qualify for any benefits. These programs can provide financial support and ease your burden.

Senior Citizen Savings Scheme (SCSS)
The SCSS offers a secure investment option with regular interest payouts. It provides financial stability and is designed specifically for senior citizens.

Pradhan Mantri Vaya Vandana Yojana (PMVVY)
PMVVY is a pension scheme for senior citizens, offering a fixed monthly pension. It provides financial security and peace of mind.

Final Insights
Mr. Vijayakumar, managing your finances during retirement can be challenging, but with the right strategies, you can improve your situation. Focus on reducing expenses, increasing income, and exploring refinancing options for your jewel loan. Consider liquidating non-essential assets and reinvesting wisely with professional guidance.

Remember, seeking advice from a Certified Financial Planner can provide you with personalized guidance and help you create a comprehensive financial plan. Take advantage of government schemes designed for senior citizens to ease your financial burden.

Your perseverance and dedication are truly admirable. By taking these steps, you can work towards overcoming your debt and achieving financial stability.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,


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Ramalingam Kalirajan  |4703 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jul 15, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Jul 03, 2024Hindi
Hi Sir, I am a 49 single mother. I have monthly SIP,s of 31 k amounting to 80 L in MFs, PPF 12L, FDs 12 L, 15 L in Senior citizen scheme on my mom's name, and no loans. I also have a LIC jeevan Saral policy of 7.2 L, which I want to close. Kindly advice me how do I maximise my returns and accumulate a corpus of 3 Cr, before my retirement.
Ans: First, let’s review your current investments and savings. You have a diverse portfolio with investments in mutual funds (MFs), Public Provident Fund (PPF), Fixed Deposits (FDs), a Senior Citizen Scheme, and an LIC Jeevan Saral policy. Your monthly Systematic Investment Plans (SIPs) amount to Rs 31,000, accumulating Rs 80 lakh in MFs. You also have Rs 12 lakh in PPF, Rs 12 lakh in FDs, and Rs 15 lakh in a Senior Citizen Scheme under your mother’s name. The LIC Jeevan Saral policy stands at Rs 7.2 lakh.

It’s commendable that you’ve maintained a disciplined approach to saving and investing. Now, let’s discuss how to optimize your returns and aim for a corpus of Rs 3 crore by retirement.

Evaluating Current Investments
Mutual Funds
Mutual funds are a good choice for long-term wealth creation. They offer diversification and professional management. Your current investment in MFs through SIPs is a robust strategy. However, you should periodically review the performance of your funds. Ensure that your portfolio is well-diversified across various sectors and fund categories. Focus on actively managed funds, as they can potentially offer higher returns compared to index funds.

Public Provident Fund (PPF)
PPF is a safe and tax-efficient investment. It offers tax benefits under Section 80C and provides tax-free returns. However, the returns are relatively lower compared to equity MFs. Given your goal, consider continuing your contributions but not increasing them significantly.

Fixed Deposits (FDs)
FDs offer safety and guaranteed returns. However, the interest rates are lower than the inflation rate, which can erode your purchasing power over time. It’s wise to maintain some FDs for liquidity and safety but consider reducing the allocation and moving some funds to higher-yielding investments.

Senior Citizen Scheme
The Senior Citizen Scheme is a good investment for regular income. It offers safety and decent returns. Since it’s under your mother’s name, it can continue to provide a steady income stream.

LIC Jeevan Saral Policy
The LIC Jeevan Saral policy has not performed well historically compared to mutual funds. Surrendering the policy and reinvesting the proceeds in equity mutual funds could yield better returns in the long term. Consult with the insurer to understand the surrender value and process before making a decision.

Strategies to Maximize Returns
Increasing SIP Contributions
Consider increasing your SIP contributions whenever possible. An increase of 10-15% annually can significantly boost your corpus. This strategy leverages the power of compounding, helping you achieve your financial goal faster.

Diversifying Within Mutual Funds
Ensure your mutual fund portfolio is well-diversified. Invest across large-cap, mid-cap, and small-cap funds. Each category has its risk and return profile. A balanced mix can provide stability and growth. Additionally, sectoral and thematic funds can be included for added diversification but in smaller proportions.

Regular Portfolio Review
Conduct a regular review of your portfolio, at least once a year. Assess the performance of your funds and make necessary adjustments. Switching underperforming funds and rebalancing the portfolio as per market conditions is crucial for optimizing returns.

Tax-Efficient Investments
Utilize tax-efficient investment options to maximize your post-tax returns. Besides PPF, consider investing in Equity-Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS) for their tax benefits under Section 80C and potential for higher returns. However, ensure that tax-saving investments align with your overall financial goals and risk appetite.

Emergency Fund
Maintain an emergency fund equivalent to 6-12 months of expenses. This fund should be kept in liquid assets like savings accounts or short-term FDs. It ensures financial stability during unforeseen circumstances without disrupting your investment strategy.

Risk Management
Evaluate your risk tolerance and adjust your portfolio accordingly. As you approach retirement, gradually shift towards more conservative investments to protect your corpus. A higher allocation to debt funds and safer instruments can provide stability while still offering reasonable returns.

Long-Term Investment Discipline
Consistency in Investments
Maintaining a consistent investment approach is key to wealth creation. Avoid frequent switching based on market volatility. Stick to your investment plan and remain patient for long-term gains.

Goal-Based Investing
Align your investments with your financial goals. Clearly define your retirement corpus target and the time horizon. This approach helps in selecting suitable investment options and maintaining focus.

Reinvesting Dividends
Reinvest dividends and interest earned from your investments. This practice enhances the compounding effect, accelerating the growth of your corpus. Ensure that your MF investments are in growth options rather than dividend payout options.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls
Avoid Over-Concentration
Diversify your investments to avoid over-concentration in any single asset class or sector. This strategy mitigates risks and enhances the potential for higher returns.

Beware of Inflation
Inflation can erode your purchasing power over time. Focus on investments that offer inflation-beating returns. Equity mutual funds and other growth-oriented investments are essential for maintaining the real value of your corpus.

Monitor Expenses
Keep an eye on the expenses related to your investments. High expense ratios and fees can eat into your returns. Opt for funds with reasonable expense ratios and ensure that the returns justify the costs.

Seeking Professional Guidance
While this plan provides a comprehensive approach, it’s advisable to seek the guidance of a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). A CFP can offer personalized advice based on your unique financial situation and goals. They can help you navigate complex investment choices and ensure your portfolio is aligned with your retirement objective.

Leveraging Technology
Financial Planning Tools
Utilize financial planning tools and apps to track your investments and progress towards your goal. These tools offer valuable insights and help in making informed decisions.

Automating Investments
Automate your investments through SIPs and other systematic plans. Automation ensures discipline and consistency in your investment approach. It also reduces the temptation to time the market.

Final Insights
Reaching a corpus of Rs 3 crore before retirement is achievable with a strategic and disciplined approach. By optimizing your current investments, increasing your SIP contributions, and diversifying your portfolio, you can maximize returns. Regular reviews, risk management, and seeking professional guidance will further enhance your financial journey. Stay committed to your goals and make informed decisions to secure a comfortable retirement.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,


...Read more


Ramalingam Kalirajan  |4703 Answers  |Ask -

Mutual Funds, Financial Planning Expert - Answered on Jul 15, 2024

Asked by Anonymous - Jul 02, 2024Hindi
Hello sir, I am 28 years old living alone and earning 33 thousand per month and my total expenses are 15000 thousand a month that includes my personal expenses, house maintenance, bills, S.I.P etc. I am roughly able to save 18000 thousand a month. I live in my parents gifted house, have no on going loans, 80,000 is invested in equity market and 1,30,000 is invested in together total 4 equity and 1 hybrid mutual funds with a SIP of 1500 in ICICI value discovery fund. I have a health insurance of 2 Lakh rupees, 3 Lakhs in fixed deposit, 50,000 in postal scheme and 1,50,000 in savings. I wish to building a maximum corpus in next 20 years. Kindly advise on the same Thank you
Ans: First of all, congratulations on being financially disciplined at the age of 28. Your ability to save a significant portion of your income is commendable. Let’s delve into your financial situation and explore ways to maximise your corpus over the next 20 years.

Current Financial Overview
You are earning Rs 33,000 per month and spending Rs 15,000, allowing you to save Rs 18,000 monthly. You have a diversified portfolio including equity investments, mutual funds, fixed deposits, postal schemes, and savings. Additionally, you have health insurance and live in a debt-free house. These are excellent foundations for building wealth.

Emergency Fund and Insurance Coverage
An emergency fund is crucial. You have Rs 1.5 lakhs in savings and Rs 3 lakhs in fixed deposits, which is a good start. Aim to maintain an emergency fund that covers at least six months of your expenses. This ensures you have a safety net in case of unexpected events.

Health insurance is another critical aspect. You currently have a coverage of Rs 2 lakhs. Considering rising medical costs, it is advisable to enhance your health insurance to at least Rs 5 lakhs. This additional coverage can provide better protection against unforeseen medical expenses.

Investment Portfolio Analysis
Equity Market Investments:

You have Rs 80,000 invested in the equity market. Equity investments can provide significant returns over the long term but come with higher risk. Regularly monitor your investments and ensure they align with your risk tolerance and financial goals.

Mutual Funds:

You have Rs 1,30,000 invested in a mix of four equity mutual funds and one hybrid mutual fund, with a SIP of Rs 1,500 in the ICICI Value Discovery Fund. Diversifying across different types of funds can reduce risk. However, actively managed funds often outperform passive index funds due to professional management and market expertise.

Consider consulting with a Certified Financial Planner to review the performance of your mutual funds and make adjustments if necessary. Regularly rebalancing your portfolio ensures it remains aligned with your financial goals and market conditions.

Fixed Deposits and Postal Schemes:

You have Rs 3 lakhs in fixed deposits and Rs 50,000 in a postal scheme. While these provide safety and assured returns, their growth potential is limited. Given your long-term horizon, you might want to shift a portion of these funds into higher-growth investment options such as equity mutual funds.

Maximising Savings and Investments
Systematic Investment Plan (SIP):

Your current SIP of Rs 1,500 in the ICICI Value Discovery Fund is a good start. SIPs help in averaging the cost of investments and mitigate market volatility. Increasing your SIP amount can significantly enhance your corpus over time. Given your ability to save Rs 18,000 monthly, consider allocating a larger portion to SIPs in various mutual funds.

Benefits of Regular Funds Over Direct Funds:

Direct funds might seem appealing due to lower expense ratios, but they require constant monitoring and expertise. Regular funds, managed by a Certified Financial Planner, provide professional guidance, periodic reviews, and rebalancing of your portfolio. This can lead to better-informed decisions and potentially higher returns.

Diversification and Risk Management
Asset Allocation:

A balanced asset allocation strategy can help manage risk and optimise returns. Consider spreading your investments across different asset classes such as equities, debt, and gold. This diversification can protect your portfolio from market fluctuations.

Review and Rebalance:

Regularly review your investment portfolio to ensure it stays aligned with your goals. Rebalancing involves adjusting the weightage of different asset classes based on their performance and your risk tolerance. This practice helps maintain the desired risk-reward balance.

Retirement Planning
Starting Early:

Starting your retirement planning early gives you a significant advantage due to the power of compounding. With a 20-year investment horizon, even small, regular contributions can grow substantially. Consider investing in a mix of equity and debt mutual funds tailored to your risk profile and retirement goals.

Retirement Corpus Estimation:

Estimate your retirement corpus based on your future financial needs, considering factors like inflation and lifestyle changes. Use retirement planning tools or consult a Certified Financial Planner to determine the amount required and devise a strategy to achieve it.

Tax Planning
Utilising Tax Benefits:

Utilise tax-saving investment options under Section 80C, such as Equity-Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS), Public Provident Fund (PPF), and National Savings Certificate (NSC). These not only help in tax saving but also provide good returns over the long term.

Efficient Tax Management:

Efficient tax planning involves strategically investing in tax-saving instruments and ensuring optimal use of available deductions. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your tax planning strategies can enhance your post-tax returns.

Long-Term Investment Strategies
Compounding Power:

Leverage the power of compounding by staying invested for the long term. Compounding can significantly boost your returns, especially when you reinvest the earnings from your investments. The longer your investment horizon, the more you benefit from compounding.

Avoid Timing the Market:

Market timing is challenging and often leads to suboptimal returns. Focus on a disciplined investment approach rather than trying to predict market movements. Regular investments through SIPs and staying invested through market cycles can yield better results.

Financial Discipline and Monitoring
Staying Committed:

Financial discipline is crucial for achieving your goals. Stick to your savings and investment plan, and avoid unnecessary expenses. Regularly track your progress and make adjustments as needed.

Periodic Reviews:

Conduct periodic reviews of your financial plan to ensure it remains relevant and effective. Life events and market conditions can impact your financial situation, so it’s essential to adapt your plan accordingly.

Final Insights
Building a significant corpus over the next 20 years requires a disciplined approach, strategic planning, and regular monitoring. Your current financial habits are commendable, and with some adjustments, you can further enhance your investment portfolio.

Consider increasing your SIP contributions, diversifying your investments, and enhancing your health insurance coverage. Regularly review and rebalance your portfolio to stay aligned with your goals. Efficient tax planning and leveraging the power of compounding will also play a crucial role in achieving your financial objectives.

Consulting with a Certified Financial Planner can provide professional guidance and help optimise your investment strategy. Stay committed to your financial plan, and you’ll be well on your way to building a substantial corpus for your future.

Best Regards,

K. Ramalingam, MBA, CFP,

Chief Financial Planner,


...Read more

DISCLAIMER: The content of this post by the expert is the personal view of the rediffGURU. Investment in securities market are subject to market risks. Read all the related document carefully before investing. The securities quoted are for illustration only and are not recommendatory. Users are advised to pursue the information provided by the rediffGURU only as a source of information and as a point of reference and to rely on their own judgement when making a decision. RediffGURUS is an intermediary as per India's Information Technology Act.


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